01/16/2013 06:06 pm ET Updated Jan 16, 2013

Notre Dame Statement: Manti Te'o Victim Of What 'Appears To Be A Hoax' Involving Girlfriend

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Notre Dame issued a statement regarding linebacker Manti Te'o shortly after Deadspin shockingly reported that the Heisman finalist's deceased girlfriend, whose reported death during the college football season was a major story line, never existed. As the Deadspin report was sending shockwaves through the college football community, Notre Dame indicated that Te'o was the victim of a hoax rather than a part of one.

Here is the Notre Dame statement:

On Dec. 26, Notre Dame coaches were informed by Manti Te'o and his parents that Manti had been the victim of what appears to be a hoax in which someone using the fictitious name Lennay Kekua apparently ingratiated herself with Manti and then conspired with others to lead him to believe she had tragically died of leukemia. The University immediately initiated an investigation to assist Manti and his family in discovering the motive for and nature of this hoax. While the proper authorities will continue to investigate this troubling matter, this appears to be, at a minimum, a sad and very cruel deception to entertain its perpetrators.

If the most common reaction to the original Deadspin story was shock, then it seemed that the reactions to the ND statement tended toward skepticism.

CLICK HERE to read the full story at Deadspin.



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